Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 27, 2019 • 04:30 pm ET


Wingstop Inc. (NASDAQ:WING) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Wingstop Inc. Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. At this time all participants are in a listen-only mode. A question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation.

(Operator Instructions) Please note that this conference is being recorded today, Wednesday, February 27, 2019.

On the call, we have Charlie Morrison, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer; and Michael Skipworth, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer.

I would now like to turn the conference over to Michael. Please go ahead.

Michael Skipworth

Thank you, and welcome. Everyone should have access to our fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2018 earnings release. A copy is posted under the Investor Relations tab on our website at

Our discussion today will include forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, and therefore, you should not place undue reliance on them. These statements are also subject to numerous risk and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from what we expect. Our recent SEC filings contain a detailed discussion of the risks that could affect our future operating result and financial condition.

We also use certain non-GAAP financial measures that we believe can be useful in evaluating our performance. The presentation of this additional information should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for results prepared in accordance with GAAP. Reconciliations to comparable GAAP measures are contained in our earnings release.

With that, I would like to turn the call over to Charlie.

Charles R. Morrison

Thank you, Michael and thank you all for joining us today. In-short, Wingstop had another outstanding year. I want to list some of the highlights that we achieved in 2018 and tie them back to our on-going strategic growth initiatives, with which you are all familiar. We finished up 2018 with system-wide sales of $1.3 billion, a 16% increase. 1,252 Wingstop restaurants worldwide, a 10.5% growth rate. Same-store sales growth of 6.5% marking our 15th consecutive year of same-store sales growth.

Nearly, 30% of our sales coming through digital channels. Delivery rolled-out to 30% of our system and returned $192 million in capital to shareholders, which includes our regular quarterly dividends and an unprecedented two special dividends of $3.17 per share in February and $3.05 per share in November.

I want to congratulate our franchisees and team members for making another industry leading year possible at Wingstop. The team's hard work and dedication to our mission to serve the world flavor, both figuratively and literally, paid big dividends to Wingstop shareholders in 2018. The 2018 results were driven by our continued focus against our strategic pillars, of sustaining our same-store sales growth, through increased brand awareness and innovation, maintaining and continuing to enhance our best-in-class unit economics and expanding our global footprint. We believe the continued focus on these strategic pillars, will enable us to achieve our vision of becoming a top 10 global restaurant brand. To that end, we have enhanced our